World Grain - July 2020 - 48

Q&A

with

PHILIPP
MARQUART

Award-winning flour miller talks about the digital future of milling
by Arvin Donley

A

lthough he's only 23 years old, Philipp Marquart is
DOUHDG\DPXFKDFFRPSOLVKHGYHWHUDQRIWKHÀRXU
milling industry.
In 2014, at the age of 17, he completed his apprenticeship
as a miller at the Grüninger family business before undertaking further training at the Milling School in St. Gallen,
Switzerland, followed by attendance at the Master
School in Stuttgart, Germany, where he won the
"Best International Young Miller" award.
In November 2017, at the age of 20,
Marquart took over as production manager
of the Grüninger Mühlen in Flums, in the
uplands of St. Gallen.
World Grain recently interviewed
Marquart, who is the youngest production
manager in the Swiss milling industry.
:*$WDJHGR\RXKDYHVX൶FLHQWH[SHULHQFHIRU\RXUFXUUHQWUROH"
MARQUART: Yes, actually I do. I've been working
for six years already in the milling industry and I already
have quite a bit of experience. I have gained important
knowledge that I know how to use. Also, I think that in
a developing industry, too much routine could be a hindrance. I follow my principle: In order to create the possible, the impossible must be tried again and again. I'm
open to innovation and want to learn about, and try out,
new technologies. It's important that I don't have tunnel
vision - I want to look out for what else is happening.
WG: :KDWLQQRYDWLRQVDQGQHZSURGXFWVKDYH\RX
FRPHDFURVVDWWKH*UQLQJHUPLOO"
MARQUART: Where automation and monitoring
are concerned, there's already a lot happening. Thanks to
Bühler's automation, the Grüninger mills have been running in single-shift operation for 10 years - eight hours
actively operated, 16 hours run on automatic. This means
there is a quality check around the clock. If any deviations
are detected, the system alerts the miller on duty. What I
found when I joined the company has given me a good
starting point for further innovations.
:*:KDWLQQRYDWLRQVKDYH\RXLQWURGXFHG
VLQFHWKHQ"
MARQUART: We further developed and modernized
48

RXU DXWRPDWHG TXDOLW\ LQVSHFWLRQ IRU ÀRXU XVLQJ 1,5
WHFKQRORJ\ :H ZHUH DOVR WKH ¿UVW PLOO LQ WKH ZRUOG
to introduce Bühler's Mercury plant control system.
It enables us to monitor every process and coordinate
incoming and outgoing goods, thus ensuring complete
traceability. Then, as a pilot partner of Bühler, we
HTXLSSHG¿YHRIRXUJULQGLQJDQGPLOOLQJSDVVDJHV
with new roll sensors. We hope that this will provide us
with information about temperature and vibration, and
about power consumption related to the entire milling
process. The next step is to work out the implications
from this data. Among other things, we would like to
compare two factors, machine wear versus yield, and
explain at what point a higher yield is more costly than
a lower one.
:*:KDWGLJLWDOSURMHFWVDUH\RXZRUNLQJRQQH[W"
MARQUART: We're currently looking into how to
link our laboratory to production. Up to now, the laboratory has been completely separate from the mill. By linking it to production, we would save an entire work step.
To put it simply, in the future, the Mercury control system
ZLOODXWRPDWLFDOO\¿QGWKHFRUUHFWSDUDPHWHUVIRUWKHFRUrect grinding process based on the laboratory values.
:*


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World Grain - July 2020

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